By Our Correspondent
The federal government has been urged to strengthen and expand community radio broadcasting by ensuring that more licences are issued to communities and groups for community radios and that the licenses are affordable and issued only to communities and not to individuals who would misuse them.
The Media Rights Agenda, MRA which gave the charge also called on the Federal Government to leverage the enduring nature and unique characteristics of radio to tackle the challenges of illiteracy, ignorance and poverty in Nigeria, saying the continuing potency of radio after over 100 years of its existence can help to foster dialogue among diverse groups and mitigate the plethora of crises ravaging the country.
In a statement to commemorate this year’s World Radio Day (WRD), MRA’s Deputy Executive Director, Mr Ayode Longe, noted that the nature of radio, particularly in the context of a country like Nigeria, makes it ideally suited to facilitate dialogue among the various ethnic, religious, social, political, and economic sectors across all the geo-political zones of Nigeria.
His words, “For over a century, radio has made a great impact in the lives of people around the world as it is available to even the poor in the remote parts of the world, bringing them timely information, education and entertainment.
Radio has also adapted, through the century, to changes and developments in technology and is now available in more gadgets than ever before. It has also remained the most widely available medium of communication in the world, reaching billions of people daily.
“Radio is one medium that offers a variety of ways to reach the greatest number of people cheaply wherever they may be and possibly in the language that they speak and understand. This makes it a veritable tool in the hands of the government at all levels to carry all Nigerians along in the formulation and implementation of their policies.”
He asked the government to strengthen and expand community radio broadcasting by ensuring that more licences are issued to communities and groups for community radios, and that the licenses are affordable and issued only to communities and not to individuals or cults who would misuse them.
Recall that WRD is celebrated on February 13 each year and the theme for 2024 is “Radio: A Century Informing, Entertaining, and Educating”.
The theme celebrates the rich history and enduring impact of radio over the past century, recognising radio’s role in informing, entertaining, and educating audiences worldwide. The theme also emphasizes the continued relevance and potency of this medium to date.